My earliest memory of Michael is from a Khyentse Foundation meeting. Rinpoche had just announced a new financial goal that many in the room appeared somewhat taken aback by. Not Michael. He chimed in that the number in question was ‘an achievable amount that even young hedge fund managers commonly accumulate, so if they can do it then surely we - with the guru’s blessing - can too.’ I thought, wow, who is that guy?! What a “bad-ass!” Over the following years I got to know Michael more and came to regard him as one of the Crown Jewels of both sanghas. As others have noted, he was SO savvy (in the exact way I hear Trungpa Rinpoche and Kheyntse Rinpoche encouraging us to be in the world), and was also an amazing conversationalist with piercing intelligence, razor sharp wit and one of the most melodic voices one could ever hope to hear. Or, as another dear friend summed him up, Michael was a “mensch” (to which I replied, “Michael was an uber-mensch!”). Our last encounter was at a drupchen earlier this year. There we spoke for almost the entirety of one of the extended breaks. Among other things, we discussed Michael’s incredibly coherent vision for the future of Shambhala. I was left with the impression that so long as Shambhala had Michael, all would ultimately be well in that world. That’s how much confidence I had in this one man! I subsequently didn’t hear anything regarding Michael until a few days after he had passed. I will never forget reading the email announcing there would be a “sukhavati” service for Michael Chender. I immediately started screaming. Since then I have been weeping on and off for days now. While I am of course saddened by the thought of not seeing Michael again (drenched in sweat at a teaching in one of his trademark dress shirts and ties), what hurts most is the thought of all the beings who will miss the opportunity to be benefitted by him. I truly feel Michael was a “precious one” and I both celebrate his life and mourn his passing with all my heart.